TUF 23 Finale: Joanna Jedrzejczyk fends off Claudia Gadelha to retain strawweight title
TUF 23 and now the TUF 23 Finale are in the books. Joanna Jedrzejczyk used her Muay Thai striking to neutralize the ground game of Claudia Gadelha particularly in the later rounds to defend her strawweight belt.
The judges scored it 48-46,48-46 and 49-45.
Jedrzejczyk said in the post-fight press conference that she wants to defend her belt at least once more before thinking about testing the waters at 125 pounds in a future UFC womens flyweight division.
And while Team Claudia won TUF 23 with Andrew Sanchez and Tatiana Suarez winning, it can be argued Jedrzejczyk won the war by defending her title.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
Jedrzejczyk and Gaelha earned Fight-of-the-night, while Doo Ho Choi and Tatiana Suarez earned performances-of-the-night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.
In case you missed the prelims:
Li Jingliang def Anton Zakir via KO R1 2:46
Kevin Lee def Jake Matthews via TKO R1 4:06
Cezar Ferreira def Anthony Smith via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Josh Stansbury def Cory Hendricks via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)
Matheus Nicolau def John Moraga via split-decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Gray Maynard vs Fernando Bruno via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Kenai Andrews checks in:
JOAQUIM SILVA VS ANDREW HOLBROOK
WINNER: JOAQUIM SILVA VIA TKO R1 0:34
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JOAQUIM SILVA VIA TKO
Andrews: Silva put away the inexperienced Holbrook early just earlier than I thought. But he made it look simple, so now I have to ask what took him so long?
DOO HO CHOI VS THIAGO TAVARES
WINNER: DOO HO CHOI VIA TKO R1 2:42
ANDREWS PREDICTION: DOO HO CHOI VIA TKO
Andrews: Tavares tried his best to keep Tavares down, but Choi got in his shots and down went Tavares. Impressive showing for the Korean Superboy.
ROSS PEARSON VS WILL BROOKS
WINNER: WILL BROOKS VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28,29-28,29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: WILL BROOKS VIA TKO
Andrews: Brooks used takedowns to get Pearson off his feet and scored points from there. Pearson just couldn’t keep the fight standing long enough. Good win for Brooks.
TATIANA SUAREZ VS AMANDA BOBBY COOPER
WINNER: TATIANA SUAREZ VIA SUBMISSION
ANDREWS PREDICTION: TATIANA SUAREZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Suarez once again used her wrestling to get control and then locked in the D’Arce choke. An excellent win and season for Suarez.
ANDREW SANCHEZ VS KHALIL ROUNTREE
WINNER: ANDREW SANCHEZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ANDREW SANCHEZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Sanchez did what he said he was going to do. He took the fight to the ground, and made Rountree work from there. Great performance for the light-heavyweight TUF 23 winner.
JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK VS CLAUDIA GADELHA
WINNER: JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (48-46,48-46,49-45)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: CLAUDIA GADELHA VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Gadelha did well in the first two rounds, but credit Joanna for turning up the heat with her striking, almost outstriking Claudia two-to-one. It was a close fight, but not as close as their first one. Jedrzejczyk’s striking is peerless. I really thought Galdelha would make the adjustments to deal with it more, but clearly Joanna made some of her own. She is the best and proved it tonight. Give Claudia props for making Joanna earn it.